Cork mum who is a two-time cancer survivor urges public to support Daffodil Day

12 February 2020
By Elaine Murphy

A young mum who has overcome cancer twice is encouraging people to get behind Daffodil Day 2020 to help fund much needed supports.

Shannen Joyce, who has battled cancer twice aged just 25, is pictured here with patient advocate Stephen Teap and CEO of the Irish Cancer Society, Averil Power at the launch of the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day which is proudly supported by Boots Ireland. Bernadette Lavery, MD, Boots Ireland, Kamal Ibrahim and volunteer James Gilleran aka Daff Man also attended the launch.

Speaking at the launch of the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day, which is proudly supported by Boots, Shannen Joyce (25) from Youghal outlined how vital it is that support is available for those in need.

“I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma twice, when I was at very different stages in my life. When I was first diagnosed at 19 my parents shielded me from so much of the worry. Back then it was all about me. I had to drop out of college, I couldn’t go on nights out. My hair falling out felt like the end of the world.

“At the time of my second diagnosis I was a mother myself and my fear was not for myself but for my little girl, Róisín. It was gut-wrenching to miss out on time with her when I was having treatment, or when I was too unwell to do everyday things like dress her. But Róisín was also my driving force – the reason I got out of bed each day.”

Through her large social media following, Shannen encourages others to be aware of the symptoms of cancer.

“I want to be a voice for men and women, young and old. I want people to know that cancer does not discriminate on the basis of your age or gender. Cancer can come knocking on anyone’s door at any time. This is why it is so important to have the Irish Cancer Society and the services they offer, the research they do and the support they give. From the Night Nurse, the Volunteer Driver Service, to the Survivor Support programme, it is vital to raise funds to ensure these services are available to everyone who needs them.

Averil Power, Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society, said: “We are very lucky to have Shannen using her voice to fight for people and families affected by cancer. She is an inspirational young woman and a wonderful advocate for Daffodil Day.

“Every three minutes somebody like Shannen receives a cancer diagnosis in Ireland, and the number of people getting cancer is growing. The Irish Cancer Society relies on public donations to fund 97% of its income, and needs to raise €4m on Daffodil Day alone. This money is used to fund crucial services like the Daffodil Centres, free counselling and our Volunteer Driver Service. We want our services to be available for everyone who needs them. We simply cannot do this without the public’s support.”

Boots Ireland has been in partnership with the Society since 2012, working together to increase awareness, promote prevention and support people living with cancer. The pharmacy chain has raised €1.7m for the Society and is sponsoring Daffodil Day for the third year in a row.

Bernadette Lavery, MD, Boots Ireland said, “Colleagues across our 87 stores are ready to join with our local communities again this Daffodil Day to ensure people facing cancer get the help they need. Our staff often come face-to-face with the impact of cancer on our customers. We are there to extend care and advice in-store through our Boots Irish Cancer Society Information Pharmacists and Boots Cancer Beauty Advisors, and by sponsoring Daffodil Day we will play our part in ensuring cancer patients and their families are fully supported.”

The Daffodil Day launch was attended by advocate Stephen Teap, hundreds of Daffodil Day volunteers, cancer survivors and representatives from Boots stores around the country.

Get involved in Daffodil Day at

Daffodil Day, in partnership with Boots Ireland, takes place on Friday March 27th and members of the public are urged help raise crucial funds at

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